Holistic approach leads to healthy teeth
Anyone who ever experienced the teeth pain knows that it´s not a walk in the park; and dental exam is generally a very unpopular activity. But the truth is we should be very grateful for dental care – formerly, people even died sometimes of blood poisoning caused by the tooth inflammation. We should be also thankful for the discovery of antibiotics although they have some side effects. In this article, we focus on what the teeth manifest about our health and how to care about them using natural remedies and avoiding chemical substances.
The fluorine myth – how to clean the teeth and what to use
The dental care starts in early childhood. In most Czech homes, a pink toothpaste with strawberry taste was common and we loved it so much we swallowed it because it was too hard to believe we are really not supposed to do so. But it contains toxic ingredients such as triclosan that causes hormonal imbalance and most importantly fluorine.
There is still an opinion in our society that fluorine is vital for the teeth decay prevention. After the WWII the fluorination of potable water was introduced to provide future generations with healthy teeth. In majority of European countries this practice was ended sooner or later because added fluorine is toxic for the brain and it may cause hyperactivity, decreased functioning of cognitive processes and lower IQ. The excessive fluorine is stored in teeth and bones and it causes dental fluorosis (white spots on tooth enamel). In US, where fluorination hasn´t been stopped, fluorosis concerns 30 –50 % of children.
Mineral waters and some food are also rich in fluorine due to usage of artificial fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture; sometimes it´s there on purpose as an additive substance. The Recommended Daily Intake is 1 – 2 mg of fluorine for an adult. Calcium, magnesium, iodine and lecithin help excrete its excess.
As adults, we don´t usually eat toothpaste but that doesn´t mean that we shouldn´t care about what is it made from – or what are the ingredients of our mouthwash. These days there are many natural products on the market. You can even make your toothpaste at home. Just mix coconut oil with green clay and add mint, thyme or lavender essential oils. You may sweeten it with xylitol which although being sweet, protects teeth from the tooth decay. The toothpastes containing Thieves essential mix are amazing, boost your immune system and protect you from tonsillitis.
The right cleaning method and the right brush that allows us to get to third molars are also important as well as an interdental brush that prevents your buccal cavity from any unwanted rests of food. The dental floss is not very popular lately because it may harm the gums. And inflammation of the gum tissue that is manifested by gum bleeding is just one step from periodontitis that is how to dispose of your teeth for good. Denture is not a cheap thing and therefore it is really worth to invest in prevention.
Tongue cleaners and coconut or sunflower oil mouthwashes, that are of Ayurveda origin, are also becoming popular. Just keep a table spoon of oil in your mouth for 15 – 20 minutes, then spit it and rinse your mouth out. You´ll not only get rid of toxins in your mouth but you may also alleviate your migraines, rashes and other ailments.
Dental Fillings – black and white
Amalgam containing mercury is another relatively dangerous material and its pros and cons are still being discussed. There are no doubts that mercury itself is toxic and some researches point out the release of it when amalgam reacts with hot and sour beverages.
Others oppose saying that the lifelong amount of mercury released in your body is similar to the amount you get from sea fish consumption. But has anyone ever counted the cocktail effect e. g. that the intake of mercury from different sources adds up and it may also combine with other potentially harmful substances that we get from the environment?
They probably did in northern states because in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the usage of amalgam has been already banned. There are also aesthetical reasons for changing the black fillings for the white ones – and many people do so nowadays. While the fillings are being changed, the patient may breathe in mercury and therefore it´s good to do some detox using chlorella or zeolite which have the power to remove heavy metals from the body. The white fillings have also one disadvantage – they are fragile and the plaque may accumulate on them causing possibly secondary dental caries.
American smile – teeth whitening in practice
The colour of our teeth is partly given genetically same as our body type. However, teeth whitening´s become a fashion. Hydrogen peroxide gels are one of the popular remedies. You apply it on your teeth and leave it there overnight. Other possibilities are UV light and laser in combination with whitening gel. “Whitening toothpastes with microbeads are the worst. They have an effect of grinding paste and they make the enamel thinner”, says Petr Tomek, a certified dental technician.
There are also safe and natural ways to whiten your teeth, such as a banana skin. Clean the teeth with the white side of it for a couple of minutes and you should see the results soon. Coconut oil is so universal – not only it has antimicrobial and antiseptic effect, it also helps whiten your teeth. Wood ash is also quite effective against teeth yellowing. And also antiseptic turmeric has a beautifying effect on your teeth.
But be careful, even natural remedies may harm you. Baking soda or apple vinegar are often recommended but it can weaken you enamel and therefore always take into consideration the actual state of your teeth.
Nutrition – no more water with lemon
Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the dentist Wenston Price pointed out the relation among nutrition, the state of teeth and the overall state of the body in his publication called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He travelled and examined patients at the most remote parts of the world and found out that people that have fresh local food, both plant and animal, are the healthiest.
He recommends avoiding industrially processed food such as white flour, sugar, refined oils, canned food or pasteurized milk. And it is necessary to mention that back then food wasn´t as harmed by negative influences of industry and intensive agriculture (artificial fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones) as it is nowadays, when the soil is depleted, farm animals live demeaning lives in factory farms and local food sources are just wishful thinking for many.
What factors shouldn´t you ignore then? One of them is calcium, a very important mineral. However, its absorption does not depend on its overall intake as much as on healthy gut flora and a well-balanced and varied diet which prevents us from deficit or excess of certain food.
The health problems caused by excess of animal products are often discussed, therefore there is no need to go into details. Let´s just say that they create pro-inflammatory conditions in the body and thus a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. But the opposite extreme, frutarianism, may also often cause dental problems. Excess of sugar and sour juices intake have a caustic effect on dental enamel. If you drink water with lemon to dissolve mucus or to alkalize your body every day, it´s recommendable to have a break from time to time and to try another ways to get a similar result.
Vegans often suffer from lack of fat soluble vitamins, mainly D and K2 that are essential for storing of calcium in teeth and bones. Soya cheese natto is the richest in vitamin K2 and other fermented food contain it as well. As the quality of food keeps decreasing and there are more and more people dealing with shortage of vitamins and minerals, it´s not a bad idea to resort to natural supplements from time to time.
Foods that strengthen the teeth:
- seaweed and green food
- bone, fish and offal broth
- butter from milk of grass-feeded cows
Even though the advertisements try to persuade you that chewing gum is the salvation for our teeth, read the ingredients. Most of it contain poisonous aspartame. If you need to neutralize pH in your mouth you´d rather chew a sage leave, drop mint essence on your tongue or chew a chlorella pill. If you use chewing gum to hide the fact your breath stinks, you should know it shows the overall pollution of your body and you should do something with it.
Psychosomatic medicine – never too long in the tooth
According to the Traditional Chinese medicine, teeth lie on all meridians and therefore are connected with everything that happens in the body on energetic level. Somatotopy deals with the correspondence between teeth and other parts of the body. The position of every tooth, the position of caries or periodontitis reveal something about the whole body and are its reflection. We can tell whether we´re fed up with something, whether we get our teeth into something often or whether we often clench our teeth to put up with something.
tartar – fossilized opinions and attitudes
grinding teeth while sleeping – repressed aggression
bleeding gums – you get hurt easily, cannot manage aggression
overbite teeth – shyness, difficulties to find employment
undershot teeth – fossilization, dogmatic behaviour
Emotions, personal qualities, relationships
parents, self-promotion and determination, if there´s a gap between them it signifies insecurity
the relationship with parents, if they partly overlap the 1st incisors it signifies disagreement with parents, size – dominance or submissiveness
kidneys and urinary bladder
life changes, growth, hobbies, connected with ovaries
desires, ego, if they don´t have enough space – restrictions in development of a personality
creativity, realization of plans
where your place is in life, the need of love, childhood memories, emotional traumas, first caries often appear here
lungs, large gut
relationships with people that surround us
lungs, large gut
connection with your inner self and with collective conscience, it shouldn´t be extracted if it´s not necessary
heart, small gut
Source of the table: POLÁČEK, R. J. Potíže se zuby a jejich psychosomatické souvislosti [online]. [cit. 2017-02-28]. Accessible on: http://www.calendula.cz/zuby.htm